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The Ultimate Fighter 31: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler Episode 9 results

Austin Hubbard is The Ultimate Fighter 31’s first finalist, though his win probably isn’t going to make any highlight reels anytime soon.

In an uneventful three-round affair, Hubbard (15-6) eked out a narrow split decision win over Team Chandler training partner Roosevelt Roberts (12-3, 1 NC) to advance to the finals of the TUF 31 lightweight tournament. He awaits the winner of the other semifinal bout between fellow veterans Jason Knight and Kurt Holobaugh, with a UFC contract awaiting the season champion.

This week’s episode featured plenty of footage of Hubbard and Roberts mentioning how close they’d become since the start of filming and that played out in the cage as neither seemed eager to push the pace and take control of the fight. Hubbard focused on mixing up his strikes to close the distance against the rangy Roberts, while Roberts looked to time counter punches and stuff takedowns.

After a first round that could have gone either way, Hubbard scored a takedown in Round 2 that allowed him to go to work with ground-and-pound from top position. The third round saw Roberts score a takedown of his own, but impactful moments were few and far between and by the time the final bell rang it felt like the result would be a toss-up.

Making the fight even stranger was that Michael Chandler and his coaches agreed not to corner either fighter so as not to show favoritism, which led to dead silence in the UFC APEX. Coach Conor McGregor sprinkled in commentary during the fight, but even he acknowledged that Hubbard and Roberts were engaged in a glorified spar.

With Hubbard advancing, Chandler has one fighter in the finale now with five of his charges still to compete. Knight and Holobaugh are both Team Chandler, as are bantamweight semifinalists Brad Katona, Timur Valiev, and Cody Gibson.

Chandler and his coaching staff not only faced the dilemma of having to pit their fighters against one another this week, but also the suggestion that some members of their team switch sides so that prospective opponents wouldn’t have to train together. However, it appears that only Katona made the move to Team McGregor, which wasn’t much of a move at all given that the TUF 27 champion has long trained with McGregor and his coaches at SBG Ireland in Dublin prior to filming the show.

Next week, Katona and Valiev face off in the first bantamweight semifinal.


The Ultimate Fighter 31 airs live every Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+.

Following the season finale, Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler are expected to face off in a welterweight bout at a date still to be determined. However, the matchup is yet to be made official and recent sexual assault accusations against McGregor as well as the former two-division champion still dealing with the USADA have left his future competitive status unclear.

The finalists of the TUF 31 lightweight and bantamweight tournaments will also compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a future show. A date for the finals is yet to be announced.

Here is the TUF 31 roster divided by team:

Team McGregor (prospects)

Lightweight

  1. Lee Hammond (27, 5-0)
  2. Nate Jennerman (29, 16-5)
  3. Aaron McKenzie (34, 11-2-1)
  4. Landon Quinones (27, 7-1-1)

Bantamweight

  1. Mando Gutierrez (26, 8-2)
  2. Trevor Wells (27, 8-3)
  3. Carlos Vera (35, 11-3)
  4. Rico DiSciullo (36, 11-2, 1 NC)

Team Chandler (veterans)

Lightweight

  1. Jason Knight (30, 23-7)
  2. Austin Hubbard (31, 15-6)
  3. Roosevelt Roberts (28, 12-3, 1 NC)
  4. Kurt Holobaugh (36, 19-7, 1 NC)

Bantamweight

  1. Hunter Azure (31, 10-3)
  2. Brad Katona (31, 12-2)
  3. Timur Valiev (33, 18-3, 1 NC)
  4. Cody Gibson (35, 19-8)

Here are the quarterfinal results:

  • Roosevelt Roberts def. Nate Jennerman via first-round KO
  • Cody Gibson def. Mando Gutierrez via first-round TKO
  • Austin Hubbard def. Aaron McKenzie via unanimous decision
  • Timur Valiev def. Trevor Wells via unanimous decision
  • Brad Katona def. Carlos Vera via unanimous decision
  • Kurt Holobaugh def. Lee Hammond via second-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Jason Knight def. Landon Quinones via first-round submission (triangle choke)
  • Rico DiSciullo def. Hunter Azure via second-round KO

Here are the semi-final results and matchups:

  • Austin Hubbard def. Roosevelt Roberts via split decision
  • Jason Knight vs. Kurt Holobaugh
  • Brad Katona vs. Timur Valiev
  • Rico DiSciullo vs. Cody Gibson

Advanced to finals: Hubbard

Advanced to semifinals: Roberts, Gibson, Hubbard, Valiev, Katona, Holobaugh, Knight, DiSciullo

Eliminated: Jennerman, Gutierrez, McKenzie, Wells, Vera, Hammond, Quinones, Azure, Roberts

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